November, 2013

Going Green! Impact of Energy Saving Devices and Florida HOAs and Condominiums

November 26th, 2013

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Section 163.04 of the Florida Statutes addresses energy devices based on renewable sources.  Of note for community associations is subsection (2), which provides as follows:

“A deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement may not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting solar collectors, clotheslines, or other energy devices based on renewable resources from being installed on buildings erected on the lots or parcels covered by the deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or binding agreement.  A property owner may not be denied permission to install solar collectors or other energy devices by any entity granted the power or right in any deed restriction, covenant, declaration, or similar binding agreement to approve, forbid, control, or direct alteration of property with respect to residential dwellings and within the boundaries of a condominium unit.  Such entity may determine the specific location where solar collectors may be installed on the roof within an orientation to the south or within 45° east or west of due south if such determination does not impair the effective operation of the solar collectors.”
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Asset Titling is Absolutely Critical to Estate & Personal Planning

November 22nd, 2013

Posted in Estate & Personal Planning

Whenever discussing a client’s plan for addressing lifetime or death transfers (including an involuntary transfer or loss to a creditor), asset titling is critical and often the most overlooked aspect of developing a strategy.  The manner in which an asset is titled determines how it can be disposed of.  Recently, I encountered a married couple who thought their Wills and Trusts provided for their intent that each spouse receive the other’s property for life in trust after the first spouse’s death and then ultimately to their children from a prior marriage.  Come to find out, almost every asset was titled jointly or had a spousal beneficiary designation on it.  Thus, the asset would pass not pursuant to their Wills or Trusts on the first spouse’s demise but by per operation of law.  This is just one example of why asset titling is so important.
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Credit Reports After Bankruptcy

November 5th, 2013

Posted in Bankruptcy Information

Many clients have questions about improving their credit post-bankruptcy.  A successful bankruptcy eliminates or discharges a debtor’s legal obligation to repay a debt.  However, it does not place an affirmative duty on a debtor’s creditors to remove any pre-bankruptcy non-payment history on credit reports.  In other words, a bankruptcy may clean up legal obligations, but it does not affect credit reports unless the creditor voluntarily corrects its reporting.  Experian, Transunion, and Equifax are the national credit reporting agencies.
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